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1972 TVR Vixen S3 Coupé
Registration no. AMB 734K
Chassis no. 19424

Founded in Blackpool in the late 1940s by Trevor Wilkinson, TVR began by making various 'specials' before introducing its first series production model – the TVR Sports Saloon – in 1954, most of which were sold in kit form. The car that really put TVR on the map though, was the Grantura. Launched in 1958, the Grantura used a multi-tubular spaceframe chassis with Volkswagen trailing-link independent suspension all round, which was clothed in very pretty glassfibre coachwork that set the pattern for TVRs for years to come. The generously proportioned engine bay could accommodate a wide variety of engines, those of Ford and BMC being the most popular, while Grantura owners intending to go racing, as many of them did, usually specified the 1.2-litre overhead-camshaft Coventry Climax FWE unit.

Very little differentiated the Grantura Mark II from its predecessor, while the introduction in 1961 of the Mark IIA brought with it the welcome adoption of front disc brakes. The bodyshell remained essentially the same, and remained so even after the introduction of an entirely new and vastly improved chassis on the Mark III of 1962. Designed by TVR's Technical Director, John Thurner, this new and longer frame featured double-wishbone suspension all-round, and would stand the company in good stead for the next 10 years.

TVR's famous sawn-off 'Manx' tail, with its distinctive Ford Cortina Mark 1 rear lights, first made its appearance in 1964 on the Ford V8-engined Griffith, and in the interests of standardisation was adopted on a new four-cylinder model: the MGB-powered Grantura 1800S. It was the latter, fitted with the 1.6-litre Ford Cortina GT engine, that in 1967 became the Vixen S1. Introduced in October 1968, the longer wheelbase of the S2 made it possible to lengthen the doors, improving accessibility, while there were numerous other changes and improvements. Built from October 1970 to April 1972, during which period 168 were made, the Vixen S3 benefited from the more powerful Ford Capri 1600 GT engine and its associated all-synchromesh gearbox.

This Vixen S3 was purchased in December 1989 from David Gerald TVR Sportscars Ltd having previously belonged to a Mr Gaskin from Cambridge, its owner since September 1987. Accompanying documentation consists of sundry invoices, a V5 registration document, and expired MoTs for the period 1984 to 1994 plus sundry newer ones.

Bonhams 1793
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Bonhams Collectors’ Car department